Summary from Goodreads:
Cocoy’s not-so-secret dream is to one day become a gun-toting, ass-kicking secret agent. But she has another dream—and this time, even her best friends don’t have a clue—she dreamsof someone. Problem is, she finds out that Jaime Arguelles—a.k.a. the guy she’d been secretly crushing on for years—likes girls who . . . well . . . like pink. To Cocoy’s logical mind, there’s only one solution: it’s time to go girly. After all, how hard can it be?
With the help of her friends, Cocoy embarks on a pink-tinged journey that somehow turns her neat and orderly life upside down. But it’s all good—because in the midst of her blossoming relationship, Cocoy learns a whole lot about life, love, dreams, and friendship . . . and about the healing power of pan de sal, Chippy, and Nutella.
When Cocoy Became Kikay was a delightful read. I don’t know if this is a debut but this is the first time I read Ms. Santi’s works and I must say I was really impressed. I love the simple narrative in this story, something I know most young-adults would love considering that the novella is geared towards the YA readers.
I initially thought that Cocoy was a boy (haha!) and this would be a story about “his” self-discovery and identity. As it turns out, yes, this is still about self-discovery and anyone, regardless of gender, can learn from Cocoy’s story.
There is a lot of heart in this story. The right amount of kilig is there but I am fonder when it comes to Cocoy’s friends. I enjoyed their banter and their varying personalities. I can really feel their loyalty and bond (because, who couldn’t, when they have that bizarre idea for a favorite snack?)
I didn’t have a hard time finishing this novella. In fact, I was able to finish it overnight when I initially planned on just reading a couple of chapters. That’s how engaging the story is.
When my little girl becomes a teen, I would definitely let her read this book. When Cocoy Became Kikay is one of those local YA novellas that really impressed me and made me wish that I was able to read this while I was younger. On second thought, and as I’ve already mentioned, this is one of those books that can still speak to anyone regardless of gender and age.
“And that’s why I want you to explore your options.” Lucy reached out and clasped my hand. “There’s more out there, Coy. There’s more to you than what you think.”
My Rating: 4/5 stars.
(Thank you, Ms. Santi, for the review copy!)